Dan In The South Pacific 2006 travel blog

The Leaning Tower of Wanaka

Hall of Faces

In the Raft after the Kawarau Jump

View of Queenstown

Another View

Nevis Jump Pod

I woke up early again because this time I wanted to see Lake Wanaka. I didn't get a chance the night before and it was only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. It is cool, but not mind blowing - it's a lake.

We left Wanaka and made our way to Queenstown. Along the way we stopped at the Kawarau (Ka-war-ow) bungy bridge. This bridge was the first commercial bungy bridge and is part of the AJ Hackett franchise (the guy who jumped of the Eiffel Tower). The clipboard for bungy jumping was passed around and of course I signed up for the "Thrillogy". I jumped Kawarau when we got there. The jump is 43m above the Kawarau River. My jump wasn't spectacular I kind of just leaned off the edge and had a half hop. I touched the water with one hand and after 2 or 3 bounces I was lowered to the awaiting raft where I was released. It was a rush and I was able to run back up the hill to the observation deck. At 4:30pm later that day I did my jump at "The Ledge" which is a 400m above Queenstown. You take the Gondola up to the observatory and then make your way to bungy platform. This jump is 47 m above the forest, but you get the best view and can do a running leap because you are put in a body harness, not bound by the ankles. Once again, the jump was sweet. The only problem was on this jump once you stop bouncing you get hauled up by attaching a winch line to your harness. The problem with this is the harness squeezes where it shouldn't and my voice was about 2 octaves higher after that jump.

In between the jumps we stopped at Arrowtown for pies (the deadliest junk food in the world) and I also bought some other foodstuffs that aren't good for the arteries. Arrowtown is an old goldmining town that has an old style feel like Old Strathcona.

I was on a high all night from my jumps and then did the Nevis jump on the 14th. This jump is a gondola jump from 134m above the Nevis River. The 3rd highest in the world and highest in NZ. The whole process started at 2:00 when I filled out the waiviers and got on the bus. The drive to the jump site was nice and on the way all I could think about was how this area truly is Middle Earth from Lord of The Rings. Then as we started to climb I began to get a bit scared. After getting the harness on and taking a small, noisy cable car to the jump gondola the blood started pumping and I was nervous. The wind was blowing hard so the jumpmaster said "You have to jump on my 1 count, otherwise you may get blown around, and maybe hurt". I watched 4 people jump and then got attached to the cord. I hopped over to the edge and didn't look over because that would create a mental block. He called 1 and I went. The jump felt like a 10 second free fall and then after a couple of bounces I was hauled back up, but the harness system is better than the Ledge jump. I have all three jumps on photo (only one bad picture) and DVD and am compelled to do the Quantum and jump at Auckland Harbour. There is also the Pipline Jump over Skipper's Canyon here at Queenstown as well. These jumps are awesome and I am going to try and get everyone to jump with my at West Edmonton Mall when I get home (that jump is a pansy jump so everyone can do it).

The tally on activities not covered by insurance is now at 6.

After the jump I went for a legendary hamburger at Fergburger. This place is about a hundred years old (not really, but it has been around for a long time) These gourmet hamburgers are supposed to be the best and I was still amped from Nevis so I went out and bought one with the fries. Massive burger, massive fries - all good. Apparently, "Ferg Loves You". I don't know if I am comfortable with that.

I have the 15th in Queenstown as well and will be doing laundry and maybe taking a walk around Lake Wakatipu, the lake that Queenstown is on. I leave for Dunedin on the 16th and will spend a few days (maybe up to 8) as close as I can get to the South Pole and will try and get a glimpse of some penguins and other sea creatures. I will be back in Queenstown after this trip to raft the Shotover river and do a Lord of the Rings tour. After that I will head to Christchurch.

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